I recent weeks I’ve done something I’d never actually seriously considered before: I am now raiding in World of Warcraft. Raids, in case you are not familiar with the lingo, are larger groups of adventurers than the basic 5-man party. Currently, WoW uses 10-man and 25-man raids, though in the past there have been 20-man and 40-man raids as well.
Raids take on challenges that’d be much too hard for smaller groups. Naxxramas – a floating, undead citadel – was the primary raid in the current content; last week, Ulduar was added. Ulduar is a fortress inhabited by titans.
After joining raids fro some weeks now, I’ve gotta say: I am kind of glad I did. They are much more interesting and challenging than small-scale encounters. They require 25 people to work well together; there’s a leadership structure (though we’re kind of casual about it) and people have more specialized roles. Everybody needs to do their job well; a weak link means a wipe – death of the entire raid. For example, on one boss in Naxxramas, I have to use my hunter’s ability to set freezing traps to help neutralize a large group of zombies, and I have to use my tranquilizing shot to calm down the boss when he becomes enraged. Positioning is much important as well. In short, it’s much more about tactics than most other fights.
It’s really fun to do this. Naxxramas is a bit too easy, but Ulduar is very tough for us. This is in part because it’s just a hard area, but it’s also because we’re still learning how to defeat the bosses there. There is immense satisfaction in taking on a big, bad monster, failing for many attempts, and then finally working out the right approach for a successful victory.